Murray reaches final; Kerber ready to seize top WTA ranking

Andy Murray wrapped up a 6-3, 6-3 semi-final defeat of Milos Raonic on Saturday to beat the rain which delayed the match between Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov at the Cincinnati Masters.

Double Olympic champion Murray reached his seventh straight final of 2016 as he won his 22nd consecutive match.

When Dimitrov and Cilic finally got onto court after two hours hour of delay, with the Croatian 12th seed reaching the first Masters 1000 final of his career 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 as he played in his 71st.

"I was twice a break down in the third set, I didn't play good tennis today. It was not easy to play but i managed to win," he said

Number two Murray .who is bearing down number one Novak Djokovic, defeated Raonic for the fifth time this season and denied the big man a chance to reach third in the world.

Murray will bid for a third Cincinnati title and fifth of the season on Sunday.

The finish was tight, as Murray delayed for more than three minutes asking for lines to be wiped of drizzle after he had wasted two match points and stood just two points from the win.

His luck held and he closed it out on a third match point to win his 50th match of 2016.

"It's better for me to be finished now, but I'm not going to be be fresher than Marin or Grigor," Murray said. "I've played a lot of tennis. "This week has been hard for me coming from Rio.

"I've not been broken in the last couple of matches, and when I was in difficult situations I made good choices.

"That's helped keep the matches shorter. Because I've won a lot the last few months, that's something that has been good, especially this week for sure.

"I'm in another final now. Go I'll out there and give it a good go tomorrow and get a few days' break before getting ready for New York."

German Angelique Kerber will fight to strip the number one ranking from Serena Williams as the Olympic silver medallist takes on Czech Karolina Pliskova on Sunday in the women's final.

Kerber, seeded second, moved to within one victory of the WTA top spot as she won a rain-delayed semi-final over third seed Simona Halep 6-3, 6-4.

Williams, who did not play this week, has stood atop the table for the last 183 weeks (since February 2013) and held the honour for 306 weeks overall.

Kerber needs to win the title to replace the veteran American.

Kerber is keeping any dreams of number one out of mind as she concentrates against a player she owns 4-2 in their series.

"There is still one match to go and I will not think yet about this," the 28-year-old Australian Open winner said after reaching her second final (2012) in Cincinnati.

"If it happens, it will be amazing. I have to focus on a match against a tough opponent."

Pliskova fired her 400th ace of the season in the last game of her defeat of Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-3.

Kerber and Halep had to wait an hour to start due to rain and then were sent off court for 30 minutes late in the opening set when more weather passed over.

Kerber held off a fightback from the Romanian who had won her 13 previous matches, with the German taking a 5-4 lead ìn the second set and serving out the win a game later even as she broke a string on her racquet.

There were 16 breaks of serve from 24 chances in the 89-minute contest.   

Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 12:12

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